Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Great Carp Escape by Irish Beth Maddock - REVIEWED

About the Book:
For siblings Beth and Paul, growing up on a lake and exploring the wonders of aquatic life is fun, until the children encounter a startling, “fishy” find along the shoreline. When the kids discover the moustached, scaly blue carp they found lives in the marsh near their home, they become afraid. Seasons pass and Beth and Paul avoid the swampy reeds at all costs–until a natural occurrence brings about a life-or-death situation for the creepy looking carp, right in their own backyard!

With guidance from their father, will Beth and Paul be able to overcome their apprehensions about the carp and help save them before it is too late?

My Thoughts
This story is familiar to those of us who grew up out in the country and had access to ponds, streams  and lakes.  I know I have memories of "saving" fish, being scared of the odd looking ones and then being relieved when I knew the fish were safe.

Beth and Paul's story is told in a beautifully illustrated book!  Their dad shepherds their thoughts about their unusual encounter toward God and His wisdom in all aspects of His creation.  Their dad and their neighbors put hands and feet to their belief and show Beth and Paul that all of God's creation has value.

This is a great book to share with your young children! They will be captivated by both the story and the illustrations.  What a delightful discovery!

About the Author:
 Irish Beth Maddock (nee Fell) was a columnist for two local newspapers, had stories published in Reader’s Digest Canada, and broadcasted on 100 Huntley Street, CHBC Television and CBC Radio.

She is a published poet, and has both performed in and directed plays and musical theater productions.

A playwright for a church drama production, her three part monologue “Tapestry” helped fund-raise over $1,000. So began the realization that she can help raise much needed funds for great causes with her creativity.

Her award winning children’s book, “The Great Carp Escape” is available as a fundraiser for schools, churches, charities and ministries in need.

A member of SCBWI, IBPA, Inscribe & The Word Guild, Irish would like to continue doing something about those ideas that get downloaded into her brain at 2 AM.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Remembering Dresden (Jack Turner Suspense Series Book 2) by Dan Walsh - REVEIWED

About the Book:
Young history professor, Jack Turner, takes a retreat at a lakeside cabin just outside of Culpepper, Georgia to work on his doctoral dissertation. The cabin is owned by an ambitious state senator, an inheritance from his father. Inside, everything is exactly the way it was when the old man died ten years ago. While taking a break from his research, Jack snoops through the father’s books and finds an old photo album filled with black-and-white pictures of orphaned children. Intrigued, he continues searching and finds what appears to be evidence of murder and an old leather journal, handwritten entirely in German. Rachel Cook, Jack’s girlfriend, translates the journal for him. What it reveals instantly puts both of their lives in mortal danger. 

My Thoughts:
It is an important work, a just work.”  (p. 207)

I could have never imagined that a tragic historic event could fuel such an intriguing suspense mystery!  But Dan Walsh’s imagination does a phenomenal job creating a story that captures your imagination from the very first page!  Jack Turner and his girlfriend Rachel Cook find themselves in the midst of a most unusual drama that has spanned all the years since the bombing of Dresden in the 1940’s!  As the details unfold, the reader grows more and more intrigued! By the end of the book, your jaw literally hits the floor!

O know this is the second in a series, but I can tell you right now, you can TOTALLY understand all of the details!  So don’t let this stop you from reading this book! In fact, I’m confident that you need to read BOTH books, because Jack Turner is a fascinating character!

So add the Jack Turner Suspense novels to your Summer reading list TODAY!  You won’t regret it!

About the Author:
Dan Walsh is the bestselling author of 16 novels including The Unfinished Gift, The Discovery and When Night Comes. He has won 3 Carol Awards (finalist 6 times), 3 Selah Awards and 3 of his books have been finalists for RT Review’s Inspirational Book of the Year. 

Magazine and blog reviewers often compare his novels to Nicholas Sparks or Richard Paul Evans (although Dan has added writing suspense novels to his repertoire). 

A member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Word Weavers International, Dan writes fulltime in the Daytona Beach area. He and his wife Cindi have been married 39 years. You can find out more about his books or follow him on other social media sites from his website at

Friday, June 17, 2016

Medical Judgment by Richard L, Mabry, M.D. - REVIEWED

About the book: 

Medical Judgment (Abingdon Press, May 2016)

Dr. Sarah Gordon lost her husband and daughter. Now she's about to lose her life.

After losing the two people she loved the most, Sarah Gordon doesn't think life could get worse. But, after a fire in her garage is ruled an arson, she begins to realize someone is after her---and that person wants to see her dead. But first, they want to see her suffer.

Her late husband's best friend, Kyle Andrews, and a recovering alcoholic detective, Bill Larson, are trying to solve the mystery before it's too late, and they're both trying to win her heart, too. Not only does Sarah feel torn between two men, she also feels as though she cannot trust anyone.

With creepy threats that become more and more sinister, Sarah finds herself in constant fear, but even the best home alarm technology won't protect her. Who is doing this, and why are they after her?

My Thoughts:
That’s paranoid thinking.”  (p. 84)

After all that Dr. Sarah Gordon had been through, I can understand why she would question her own judgement.  Loss with more trauma piled on top of it makes the reader feel as though Sarah has had more than her fair share of bad things thrown her way.  But, at the point she thinks she is getting paranoid…well, let’s just say she will have more reasons than ever to be paranoid and just plain scared out of her mind by the end of the novel!

Richard Mabry has a knack for building suspense in his novels from the very first page.  Sarah Gordon makes a compelling main character, because readers will identify with her longing to move forward and begin to recover from a devastating loss. Her anxiety and anger toward God is realistic, and when her hour of desperation comes, that too is believable and heart felt.

The only thing that seemed a tad out of balance in the novel are the number of men ready to jump into her life and become the focus of her interest.  Maybe a nice problem for a grieving widow to have, but I’d be as cautious of the line of men queuing up in my phone calls as I would be of the person who was obviously stalking me! (just my own paranoia peeping through, I guess!)  Anyway, the men that become so abundant in Sarah’s life also have believable points of entry, and I’m thankful her ability to feel Holy Spirit’s nudge toward one of her possible suitors was plain!

This is a suspenseful, quick read that is perfect for the beach or any other vacation location! Pick up you copy HERE today!  You won’t be disappointed!

About the Author:

Dr. Richard Mabry is a retired physician who writes "medical suspense with heart." His novels have won multiple awards: a semifinalist for International Thriller Writers' debut novel; finalists for the Carol Award, Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, and Romantic Times' Reader's Choice Award; and both finalist and winner of the Selah Award. He and his wife live in Frisco, Texas.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

MARi Partners with CCM Magazine for World Premiere of “Made to Love” Music Video

NASHVILLE, Tennessee) -- Powerhouse vocalist MARi has partnered with CCM Magazine for today’s exclusive World Premiere of her “Made to Love" music video. This is the third single from her debut album, “Treasure," which released on May 27th via Elevate Entertainment and Syntax Distribution.

Watch the World Premiere of MARi’s “Made to Love” music video exclusively at CCM Magazine:

“I’m so excited about my new video premiering at CCM,” says MARi. “I’ve been a lifelong fan of Christian music and I’ve always dreamed of being featured in CCM. I’m grateful that editor Kevin Sparkman has embraced the song and joined us in spreading the message that we need each other. We were all made to love!”

Hailing from Queens, New York, and influenced by artists such as Lecrae, TobyMac and Jaci Velasquez, powerhouse vocalist MARi brings an energetic hybrid of dance, pop, worship, Latin and reggae to the Contemporary Christian Music arena.

MARi released two other music videos back in May, leading up to the release of her debut album.

Watch MARi’s “Treasure” music video:
Watch MARi’s “Shine Brighter” music video:

MARi is managed by Michael Smith & Associates and booked by Behind the Voice Agency.

Monday, June 13, 2016

A Powerful Duo of book that will bring Healing in the wake of Childhood Sexual Abuse - REVIEWED

About the Book:  ( Andrew J. Schmutzer, Daniel A. Gorski, David Carlson) A stunningly vulnerable look at the horrific realities of sexual abuse and how to overcome them Male sexual abuse is increasingly in the news, from scandals in the Catholic Church to exploitations at Penn State. Yet books and programs about healing are still overwhelmingly oriented toward the female survivor of abuse. As men who experienced childhood abuse, the authors of this book are uniquely qualified to address the healing process of male survivors. Using the metaphor of a car accident, Naming Our Abuse leads the survivor from the Wreck to the Accident Report to Rehabilitation to Driving Again. This four-step model illustrates that healing is a process to be nurtured rather than something that can be healed in a single telling. Following the authors' examples, readers are invited to find solidarity with other male survivors and develop an understanding of their own wounding through journaling exercises.

About the Book: (Crystal M. Sutherland)
A path of hope and healing for survivors of childhood sexual abuse 

A woman who was sexually abused as a child is confronted with many internal questions: Am I worthless? Will I get past the pain? Do I matter to God? These and similar questions can carve a deep hole in an already wounded soul. Too often, the lies of worthlessness are believed, the pain becomes too much to handle, and survivors find themselves making choices that lead to more heartbreak. With over 42 million survivors (both male and female) in the United States alone, the need for a clear path to healing is great.

Crystal Sutherland—herself a survivor of CSA—knows that while the recovery process is complex, healing is possible with God’s help. For women who want to progress from simply coping to living abundantly,Journey to Heal guides readers through seven essential steps to recovery found in Scripture. Candid and open about her personal journey of healing, Crystal comes alongside her reader as a friend who understands. Infused with biblical truths, stories of hope from other survivors, and practical wisdom, this book leads women to discover the life of wholeness God has for them.

My Thoughts:

Childhood sexual abuse is far more common than anyone realizes.  The statistics in these books make me shudder. I personally know victims of this type of abuse, and I am convinced it is one of the most insidious ways that the enemy has to enslave people to shame and guilt.  This enslavement ends marriages, friendships and all types of family relations.  This is an evil that even parents of the children being abused refuse to confront, and that lack of protection only further damages the child.  This has to end, and everyone needs to know that hope and healing are possible!

This is a unique and, unfortunately, a desperately needed resource for adults of all ages.  These are books that are written by other who have survived and healed from abuse, and they gently bring readers to a place of hope where they can begin their own healing journey. The exercises and prayers found in the pages of these books will strengthen many.  I am convinced these books are divine appointments for many!  I’ve even suggested these as curriculum for small groups at my church!

I am so encouraged that these books exist, and I know many will begin and complete their healing through the pages of these books. 

About the Authors:
Andrew Schmutzer is Professor of Biblical Studies at Moody Bible Institute where his teaching focuses on Old Testament Scripture He has also served as adjunct teacher at Wheaton College and Northern Theological Seminary. Andrew is a steering committee member of ETS (Evangelical Theological Society) and is also a member of Christian Counseling Professionals of Chicagoland. He is an associate member of the Trauma & Transformation project to address sexual abuse in the Catholic Church (McGill University); a contributing editor of Edification, an interdisciplinary journal of the Society for Christian Psychology; and a consultant for, an organization to help men who've experienced sexual abuse.

Crystal Sutherland is a writer, speaker, and friend to survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Her passion is to encourage women in their journey of faith, and lead them to the hope and healing that can only be found in Jesus Christ. Crystal holds a MA in Theological Studies and has over eighteen years of ministry experience, including women's ministry, youth ministry, worship, and Bible teaching. She as written and led a women's Bible study for survivors of sexual abuse. Her work can also be seen on her blog and Crystal and her husband Wes have three children, and two grandchildren. They live with their youngest son, Isaac, in Wilmington, North Carolina. 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Sister Eve and the Blue Nun by Lynne Hinton - REVIEWED

About the book: 

Sister Eve and the Blue Nun (Thomas Nelson, May 2016)

After a murder at the monastery, Sister Eve may need a miracle if she is to prove a dear friend isn't a cold-blooded killer.

Sister Eve, a motorcycle-riding nun with a natural (or is it supernatural?) gift for solving murders returns to the enclave she once called home and quickly finds herself confronting yet another mysterious death.

Someone has poisoned Dr. Kelly Middlesworth---a researcher on the life and ministry of 17th-century's revered "Blue Nun"---and a set of irreplaceable historic documents have disappeared before they could even be examined.

When all evidence seems to point to the victim's brother, Sister Eve sets out to expose the killer and learn the explosive truth those missing manuscripts might contain.

Chasing a killer is dangerous work, and as her two worlds collide, Sister Eve may need some heavenly help simply to survive.

Purchase your copy HERE today!

My Thoughts:
Sister Evangeline, or Sister Eve, is quite the detective!  Solving murders seems to be something she has a knack for, and she is good at discerning clues that others seem to overlook.  I’m glad for the sake of the characters in the book, otherwise the murderer would be….well he wouldn’t receive the justice due and others would probably be dead.  Sister Evangeline barely made it through this novel!

This was a fun read if you like a classic “who-done-it” feel to your Summer reading!  The author did a good job of hiding the culprit in plain sight, and the ending was very satisfying and very high speed! Lynne Hinton writes well-developed characters, and gives you a story that is multi-layered but not heavy.

I apologize for being a tad late with the review, but it was marked wrong in my calendar. I am happy to recommend this novel!!  It is a fun and suspenseful read!

About the Author:
Lynne Hinton is the New York Times bestselling author of Friendship Cake and Pie Town. A native of North Carolina, she received her undergraduate degree from the U.N.C. at Greensboro and her Masters of Divinity degree from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. She also studied at Wake Forest University and the NC School of the Arts, School of Filmmaking. She has served as a chaplain with hospice and as the pastor of Mount Hope United Church of Christ and First Congregational United Church of Christ, both in North Carolina. Lynne is a regular columnist with The Charlotte Observer. She lives with her husband, Bob Branard, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

I accidentally wrote this on the wrong week of my calendar.  Will move it to the top of the list!  Will post my review soon!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Bread & Wine recorded by Ben and Kelly Smith live at Serenbe -REVIEWED

Mighty in battle, perfect in love
Awesome in wonder, faithful and just
Matchless in mercy, wisdom and strength
You can be trusted in all of your ways – Unto Your Name verse one

This song has captured my heart!  I was honored to hear this performed live during a worship service at Bethel Atlanta several months ago.  Ben and Kelly have such a peace and genuineness about them, that when you see them lead worship, it is a truly wonderful thing to be a part of! 

Each song on this album is filled with praise for Who God is and all of the many way He has shown His love for us!  Another song on this album speaks powerfully to me – I Am Not The Same.  I love to be reminded of the transforming power of God’s love in my life.

This entire project will lead you to the foot of the cross!  This captures the essence of worship and the part it plays in the life of all believers – to bring us into God’s presence and prepare our hearts to receive all that God wants to give us!

I encourage each of you to pick up a copy of the CD or download it from itunes.  This is a project you don’t want to miss!! Bless you Ben and Kelly for sharing this precious gifts with the world!!

Check out both albums, the videos and a lot of other information HERE!! And purchase your copy today!